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Volume 13, Number 20b
May 17, 2007
Fly in Ultra-Comfort with LightSPEED Headsets:
Discover the most comfortable headsets in the industry. The in-the-ear Mach 1 weighs less than 1 oz., and the full-size Thirty 3G just under 16 oz. and uses soft conform-foam ear cushions. Try a LightSPEED headset with a 30-day money back guarantee. To order, contact a LightSPEED dealer or call (800) 332-2421 (PST, business hours). For more information and to view a video clip, click here.
Top Newsback to top 
Sponsor Announcement

An amendment introduced by Sens. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., and John Sununu, R-N.H., to strike user fees from S.1300, the Senate FAA reauthorization bill, was narrowly struck down by a roll-call vote of 12-11 on Wednesday during an executive session of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. As such, the four-year FAA reauthorization legislation -- sponsored by Sens. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Jay Rockefeller IV, D-W.Va. -- now headed to the full Senate will include the $25 per-flight user fee for IFR operations conducted by turbine aircraft. S.1300 was touted during the session as fully funding ATC modernization to 2011, restoring full Airport Improvement Funding levels and containing a passenger bill of rights. It also would continue the fuel and ticket taxes at current levels except for the 4.3-cent per gallon fuel tax for commercial flights, which would be phased out by the bill. More...

An effort to eliminate aviation user fees from the Senate's FAA funding proposal came within one vote of succeeding on Wednesday, prompting National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) President and CEO Ed Bolen to note that opposition to user fees is strong and growing. "This remarkable vote shows that opposition to the per-flight user fee is growing among Senators from both sides of the aisle, who are coming to share our concerns about this user fee," Bolen said. AOPA President Phil Boyer sent a similar message to members: "Even this defeat sent a very strong message that AOPA members do not support user fees for any segment of aviation! This is important because we are still in the early stages. This bill will also need action by the Senate Finance Committee before it reaches a vote by the full Senate." More...

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News Briefsback to top 

If your projects aren't meeting their targets, here's one solution -- move the target so it's closer to where you are. That's what the FAA has been doing, according to Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., who sits on the Senate appropriations subcommittee on transportation. At a hearing last week, the senator said FAA Administrator Marion Blakey's frequent claim that 97 percent of the agency's capital projects are on time and on budget is true only because some projects have been "re-baselined." That is, when projects run over budget or behind schedule, those targets are recalculated. "Things are not all 'on track' at the FAA," Murray said. She said she questions "whether the agency is being honest with the system users, Congress and taxpayers when it establishes a new higher cost estimate, a later delivery date or a weaker performance goal, and then continues to proclaim proudly that the program is 'on-time' and 'on budget.'" Among the projects that are lagging, according to Murray, are improved weather systems, radar upgrades and systems to prevent runway incursions. More...

SATSair and Linear Air believe that they have proven the air-taxi model using the Cirrus SR22 and Cessna Caravan, respectively. "Air taxis are a big opportunity," Bill Herp, Linear Air's president and CEO, said at the Business Models for VLJs and Light Jets Conference in West Palm Beach, Fla. SATSair President and CEO Steve Hanvey, among other panelists, also shared Herp's gushing enthusiasm during a forum on how to make money with very light jets. Because of "air cab" services like SATSair, "more people can now use aviation" to get to their destination, noted Hanvey. While air taxis do provide an option to connection-laden airline flights or long car drives, the thought of flying in small airplanes simply scares some people. This fear presents a roadblock to the air-taxi industry, though Herp and Hanvey believe this barrier can be overcome by educating customers. "We need to engage a change in thinking," Hanvey pointed out. More...

Aircraft Spruce East Coast Super Sale on May 19th
Aircraft Spruce will be holding their annual East Coast Super Sale on Saturday, May 19th from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Vendors will be on site demonstrating their products. Raffle prizes will be given away hourly. Seminars will include Bose, PTI, Ideal, and Light Sport Workshop. Numerous discounts, hot dogs, and lots of fun! Complimentary shuttle service available throughout the day from the Falcon Field (FFC). For more information, call Aircraft Spruce at (877) 4-SPRUCE or visit online
News Briefsback to top 

Before DayJet begins the first very light jet air-taxi service this summer in Florida using Eclipse 500s, company President and CEO Ed Iacobucci wants to clear up some myths about the air-taxi industry. "The biggest misconception is that the air-taxi model is about the airplane," he said Tuesday at a VLJ conference in West Palm Beach, Fla. "The VLJ is evolutionary, not revolutionary. It's the VLJ price point and air-taxi business models that are revolutionary." Iacobucci believes the Eclipse 500 is the best airplane available for the air-taxi mission, which he said requires an airplane with the lowest operating costs and not the lowest per-seat costs. Further, he maintains that DayJet has a solid model for on-demand, per-seat air service. According to Iacobucci, "air taxis are a new market game" since they give travelers a heretofore unavailable option where point-to-point airline service is limited or nonexistent, prompting them to drive long hours to get to their destination. More...

The news blackout from Pogo Jet doesn't portend its demise; instead it was merely intentional. According to Pogo Executive Vice President of Operations Mike Stuart, the company has been laying low while working hard behind the scenes to make its flat-rate (per hour) charter service a reality. "We're waiting to get in when the [very light jet] aircraft matures," he said Tuesday at the Business Models for VLJs and Light Jets Conference in West Palm Beach, Fla. "We need a high-utilization aircraft model and we don't want to have to worry about teething pains." According to Stuart, Pogo is "leaning toward" the Eclipse 500, dashing Adam Aircraft's hopes that the company would buy 75 A700 very light jets. The VLJ charter firm plans on starting its $2,000-per-block-hour service in mid-2008. More...

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News Briefsback to top 

"The top levels of both the FAA and Lockheed Martin are now engaged and committed to fixing the significant problems pilots are experiencing with the new flight service station (FSS) system," AOPA said on Tuesday. AOPA President Phil Boyer spent nearly an hour on the phone with FAA Administrator Marion Blakey on Sunday, and another hour with her and her deputy on Monday. "I have their pledge that they will do whatever it takes to ensure pilots get the safety of flight information that they need and deserve," he said. Problems with the system worsened in recent weeks, as Lockheed Martin began consolidating the old FAA flight service stations at the rate of three a week. Computer updates were incomplete, and spring weather brought an increase in flying. "I have great difficulty understanding why it has taken so long for those FAA employees responsible for the Lockheed Martin contract to address a safety of flight issue," Boyer said. According to Lockheed Martin program manager Dan Courain, a series of software updates that are scheduled for the next few weeks should resolve the transition problems and "allow [workers] to focus on the pilot's needs, rather than the system's performance." More...

The control tower at New Orleans Lakefront Airport was closed down byHurricane Katrina in 2005, and is still not back in operation. OnMonday, the National Business Aviation Association, AOPA, and theNational Air Traffic Controllers Association joined together to blastthe FAA for "dragging its feet," and called for progress. The toweris "essential to safety and the economic recovery of New Orleans,"the groups said in a joint news release. The field is growing busier, and anumber of unsafe incidents have been reported, such as aircraft onthe runway passing each other at high speed in opposite directionsand pilots having to go around to prevent collisions on the runway."The FAA can and must restore an operational control tower atLakefront before an incident becomes an accident," said NATCAspokesman Darrell Meachum. More...

Would Pilots Spend 2 Cents for This?
Is it worth a couple of pennies to hear the CFI of the Year share tips on briefing the approach? Or watch a 46-year- veteran CFI teach a great technique for practicing and sharpening your rudder skills? Get this kind of top-flight aviation expertise for a few pennies each. Keep your skills and knowledge sharp to stay safe with PilotWorkshops.com. Click to watch a sample video with 4 quick tips.
News Briefsback to top 

A Cessna 172 and a Beechcraft Bonanza were flying in opposite directions last Friday afternoon, according to witnesses, when their wings clipped and both airplanes fell to the ground. All three men aboard the two aircraft were killed. Several people called 911 after they saw the collision and ran to the wreckage, but they were unable to help. The midair took place on a sunny day about two and a half miles from Blue Ash Airport, near Cincinnati, Ohio, where both aircraft were based. The CTAF audio from the airport, archived online, suggests that the Bonanza was inbound to the field and the Cessna had just departed. One airplane crashed into a road and another into a residential front yard, but nobody on the ground was hurt. More...

If anyone thought two years ago that light sport aircraft wouldn't catch on among manufacturers, they’ve been proven wrong this week as the number of certified LSA models now totals 50. Of those, 42 are fixed-wing airplanes, five are weight-shift trikes, and three are powered parachutes, according to Dan Johnson's sport-pilot blog. About a dozen of the designs are built in the Czech Republic, and 11 are built in the U.S. The 50th certification went to Powrachute's AirWolf 912, which carries an electric-start 100-hp Rotax. "While some complain about the cost of LSA, here's one with a four-stroke engine for less than $31,000," says Johnson. "Worth another look?" More...

Safety Alert: Do You Know How to Transit through Class B and A TRSA?
Get a complete, no-cost guide to airspace designations, restrictions, and minimums from the AOPA Air Safety Foundation. Get details on TRSAs, Class D, Class C, and Class B airspace, plus VFR transition routes, SUAs, TFRs, ADIZ, and more. Bonus one-page Airspace Reference Guide and Intercept Procedures Guide. Download your no-cost Airspace Safety Advisor now.
News In Briefback to top 

A 2001 Cessna 182T, N35347, reported stolen from Falcon Field in Arizona...
Transport Canada has certified Columbia 350s and 400s with G1000s...
Socata Aircraft is now EADS Socata North America...
LoPresti announces new Bluetooth wireless headset...
Pilot Steve Jones was unhurt after shredding a pylon at the Red Bull Air Race...
Air pollution from aviation emissions kills 321 U.S. citizens per year, says MIT...
FAA says it was a mistake to allow rocket launches near an airport in Kentucky...
Controllers are on trial in Switzerland in connection with a fatal midair five years ago. More...

Our best stories start with you. If you've heard something that 130,000 pilots might want to know about, tell us. Submit news tips via email to newstips@avweb.com. What have you heard? More...

HAVE YOU SIGNED UP yet for AVweb's NO-COST weekly business newsletter, AVwebBiz? Reporting on breaking news, Business AVflash also focuses on the companies, the products and the industry leaders that make headlines in the Business of Aviation. Business AVflash is a must read. Sign up today at http://www.avweb.com/profile/. More...

Garmin 496 vs. Flight Cheetah with XM Weather Comparison
How does the Garmin 496 really compare to the Flight Cheetah with XM Weather? Check out this link to find out.

(866) 443-3342
New On AVwebback to top 

Columns | Features | What's New | Calendar | Brainteasers


Quiz #120: Something Old, Something New
As the tsunami of change washes over the FAA, leaving it groping for a user-fee lifeline, pilots know to surf the crest, riding old terms, new ways and hope into aviation's future.


Glenn Pew speaks with Cessna vice president of propeller aircraft sales, John Doman, about the company's Next Generation Piston proof-of-concept (NGP POC) aircraft. More...

If Brokers Say They Cover the Whole Market, Why Can't They Get a Quote from Us?
Actually, brokers can't get a quote from Avemco, the only direct provider of aviation insurance. Only Avemco lets you talk directly to the aviation underwriter for fast, accurate answers. So if a broker tells you they cover the whole market, they're only telling you half the story. Call (888) 241-7891, or visit online for the rest of the story.
AVweb Audio News -- Are You Listeningback to top 


AVweb posts audio news on Mondays, plus a new in-depth interview each Friday. In last Friday's podcast, you'll hear an interview with Teal Group's Richard Aboulafia. And AVweb's podcast index includes interviews with Air Journey's Thierry Pouille; Epic Aircraft's Rick Schrameck; Cessna's Jack Pelton; Embraer's Ernest Edwards; LAMA's Dan Johnson; Piper's Jim Bass; DayJet's Ed Iacobucci; AOPA's Andrew Cebula; Hawker Beechcraft's Jim Schuster; Avfuel's Craig Sincock; Comp Air's Ron Lueck; and VistaNav's Jeff Simon. In Monday's special podcast, hear David Wartofsky, owner of Potomac Airfield, talk about AFSS problems. Remember: In AVweb's podcasts, you'll hear things you won't find anywhere else.


Merge the Real and Virtual Worlds, and Have Fun Learning
Using ASA's Microsoft® Flight Simulator as a Training Aid book, student pilots can enhance book-learning, review concepts and skills, and prepare for lessons. Certificated pilots can use the book to complement real-world flying with hours in virtual skies. Flight Instructors will discover new ways to use Flight Simulator as a ground-teaching tool and in pre- and post-flight briefings. Go online for complete details.
Question Of The Weekback to top 

Including last week's fatal midair collision between a Cessna 172 and Beech Bonanza, there have been 24 fatal and 16 non-fatal midair collisions involving GA aircraft in the U.S. since 1997. Should the FAA mandate that all GA aircraft be equipped with traffic advisory systems to help prevent midairs? Click through and tell us what you think. Plus: How many AVweb readers could we meet at Oshkosh this year? Find out how many of you said you'll be attending AirVenture. More...

If You Think "Bargains" Are Something Alien to Aviation — Think Again!
Spending hard-earned money on your aircraft and its avionics can be expensive. But don't think good deals aren't available in today's marketplace. Bennett Avionics provides pilots with quality avionics to meet their needs and maintain their budget. Before you buy anywhere else, check out Bennett Avionics at (860) 653-7295 or online. You'll be glad you did!
FBO Of The Weekback to top 


AVweb's "FBO of the Week" ribbon goes to Million Air at KHHR in Hawthorne, Calif.

AVweb reader Steve Hamerslag couldn't say enough good things about this facility.

"This is a new FBO on the field. When I arrived the ramp personnel were waiting to help with securing the aircraft. I was offered a short lift on their cart to the office, but I elected to walk the short distance. Upon entering the lobby I was helped immediately and efficiently. I was planning on taking a cab to my destination five miles away, but they insisted that they take me in their courtesy van. They even have a free soda machine on top of the normal coffee and tea. When I was departing, the line crew helped remove the chocks and offered me a cold bottled water as I did my walk around. Million Air KHHR has very friendly and efficient staff. The fuel was even reasonably priced!"

Keep those nominations coming. For complete contest rules, click here.

AVweb is actively seeking out the best FBOs in the country and another one, submitted by you, will be spotlighted here next Monday!


Whether Your IFR Ticket Is Recent or Signed by Lindberg ...
The IFR environment is constantly changing. You need to keep informed. IFR Refresher is the publication for you if you're serious about flying IFR. No other publication can help maintain your flying and decision-making skills. Order your subscription online for savings from the regular rate.
Pictures Of The Weekback to top 

Each week, we go through dozens (and sometimes hundreds) of reader-submitted photos and pick the very best to share with you on Thursday mornings. The top photos are featured on AVweb's home page, and one photo that stands above the others is awarded an AVweb baseball cap as our "Picture of the Week." "POTW" submissions climb back into the skies this week, with more great photos rolling into our submission box. So many new photos, in fact, that we're running a little behind this week, so we'll jump right in with little fanfare. This week's top photo is also our "suggested desktop wallpaper of the week," and it comes to us from the prolific Josh Cawthra. More...

Names Behind The Newsback to top 


AVwebFlash is a twice-weekly summary of the latest news, articles, products, features, and events featured on AVweb, the internet's aviation magazine and news service.

Today's issue was written by Contributing Editor Mary Grady (bio) and Editor In Chief Chad Trautvetter.

Click here to send a letter to the editor. (Please let us know if your letter is not intended for publication.)

Comments or questions about the news should be sent here.

Have a product or service to advertise on AVweb? A question on marketing? Send it to AVweb's sales team.

If you're having trouble reading this newsletter in its HTML-rich format (or if you'd prefer a lighter, simpler format for your PDA or handheld device), there's also a text-only version of AVwebFlash. For complete instructions on making the switch, click here.

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